MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s that time when we recognize one of the many great teachers in our community.

Ms. Loretta Hall teaches Reading Language Arts at Harvest Network of Schools in north Minneapolis. Hall is committed to making sure her students are afforded every opportunity they deserve so they can achieve great things. That is what makes her an Excellent Educator.

“I just am humble and thankful and grateful. This is what I love to do. I love working with everyone here, love the students, love to watch them learn,” Hall said.

From the teacher who nominated her, to the fifth graders cheering her on, Hall has a lot of fans at The Best Academy, including the school’s founder.

“We have so many children that are now in law school, in medical school because of the great work that you’ve done, thank you so much. You are an excellent educator,” Eric Mahmoud, Harvest Network of Schools founder, said to Hall.

Hall has been teaching for 40 years, and more than half of that has been at the school in north Minneapolis. She says she appreciates the African American demographics at this school and helping her students prove some stereotypes wrong.

“I feel like a lot of times they feel like schools that are all African American that they’re not here for the same reason, they don’t have the same skills, they don’t achieve the same, but we prove every day that is not the case,” she said. “We have high-achieving scholars. They work hard every day.”

Hall says her love of students comes from her time as a student.

“I use my life a lot. I kind of had a hard upbringing. The teachers weren’t as kind to me, so I use that and make sure they get exactly what they need,” she said.

Hall is not only a role model for her students, but also her fellow teachers.

“She exudes excellence, so when students interact with her they are trying to please her. They are trying to do their best and it’s demonstrative in their test scores or the physical work they present, it is evident that she is the one that’s touched their lives,” said Denise Smith, a fellow teacher.

While the recognition is sweet, Hall stays focused on the job at hand.

“I do it because I love it. This is just icing on the cake,” she said.

Hall is also an advisor for the National Junior Honor Society.

Kim Johnson